Have students work individually or in pairs. Assign each person or pair a different article from News for You. Ask the students to read their assigned articles carefully and write comprehension questions about them. Then have students take each others' "tests" and hand them back to the writers. Writers can then "grade" the tests.
This activity promotes reading comprehension and gives practice in forming questions. For variety, you could ask students to create true/false questions about the articles.
Choose two articles from News for You that can be developed into skits. Set time limits for planning and presenting the skits. Divide the class into two groups, and give each group suggested ideas for each skit. Include characters, scenes, and actions. Get class members in the audience involved in each skit by having them ask questions of the players in character after the skit presentation.
If an article is sequential, write a simple outline on the board by asking students for suggestions. Students can choose broad categories and subcategories under each Roman numeral.
Divide the class into two groups. Assign an article from News for You to each group. Each group will then teach the rest of the class about the contents of their article. Prepare a list of written questions for each group to guide them in their planning. Tell students you will give a short true-or-false quiz on the article to the entire class following each group's teaching presentation. Set time limits for planning and presenting.
Divide students into small groups. List headlines from an issue of News for You on the board and assign one headline and its article to each group. Have each group read the article and write questions about it.
Next, write the headlines on separate pieces of paper, then put them in a hat and have each group draw one. (If they choose the headline they used for writing questions, they should put it back and choose another.) Each group must read the article with the chosen headline and try to answer the questions written by their fellow students.
Enlarge a copy of a News for You article and cut it into 3 or 4 pieces. Post a piece on each wall of the classroom (not in the order they appear in the article). Label the pieces A, B, C, and D in the order they appear going around the room.
Assign each student a letter. Tell students to go to the wall where their section is posted and read their part of the article. No paper or pencil is allowed. If students want to take notes, they must go back to their seats to do it. They can discuss the article with other people at their wall. A student reads only one section.
Form new groups. In each group, include one A, one B, one C, and one D person. Each person explains his or her section of the article. The rest of the group listens and, if necessary, asks questions for clarity. Then the group decides on the logical sequence of the sections, for example, B, C, A, D.
The teacher has students read an issue of News for You as homework before class. Before class, the teacher prepares a grid. Choose five stories and label columns with their names across the top. Then put the dollar amounts $100, $200, $300, $400, and $500 vertically down the left side. Prepare a question for each cell, with easiest questions at the $100 level and hardest ones at the $500 level.
In class, divide the group into two or three teams. Choose a team to go first. The first team member chooses a dollar amount and a story. The teacher reads the appropriate question. The student who chose the question must answer it but can consult with other members of the team.
If the student answers correctly, the team gets the "dollar amount" added to its total, and it is the next team's turn to pick a question. If the student answers incorrectly, the next team gets a chance to answer and then takes its regular turn. If no team gets the answer, the teacher can choose whether to give the answer or open it to later guessing.
The team with the most "money" at the end wins the game.
Use News for You to teach students how to create an outline. After each paragraph is read, have the students locate the topics, subtopics, and additional details. Following this pattern, students end up with a structured outline of the news article and with increased understanding as well.
First, have students skim News for You. This could be done as homework. Meanwhile, come up with 50 to 75 questions based on articles in that issue.
Divide the class into two groups. Have each group divvy up the articles so each person reads one or two stories carefully.
Now, ask your questions. Don't pause for long gaps between questions. Ask a volunteer to keep score on the board and help you listen for which group gives the correct answer first.
Anyone can answer the questions, so the answers come fast. Things get very noisy and exciting. Sometimes the winners get small prizes, but bragging rights are what the teams really want. This makes reading the newspaper really fun.
To help students evaulate news stories, break the class into small groups of three or four. Pass out two articles to each group on the same topic -- one legitimate news story, and one that is either opinion or other type of "fake news."
Instruct the group to read the articles and decide:
After several minutes, reconvene the class and discuss the groups' findings.
For more details and suggestions on articles to use and ways to evaluate articles, visit the Oakland Public Library blog.
Ask each student to choose six crossword puzzle words and get familiar with their meanings. Have them write each of the words in a sentence.
Ask students to read one of the articles in News for You. Then ask each student to write a summary. The twist is that the summary must be exactly 15 words long. This gives students practice finding the essential message of a story and expressing that message succinctly. If you wish, you could ask students to pair up and proofread each others' summaries. Then authors can refine and polish their work so that each summary has exactly the right number of words and captures the essence of the story.
Before students see News for You, block out the headlines from one or more stories (or print stories from News for You Online and remove the headlines). Ask students to read each story carefully and write an appropriate headline for it. This requires accurate interpretation of the information in the article, and it tests students' ability to identify the most important message. It also is an opportunity for demonstrating creativity. Then see how closely the students' headlines match the ones in the paper.
Have students review articles in News for You and have each choose one story to read carefully. After reading, ask each student to write several paragraphs relating the article to his or her own life experience. Students can read their paragraphs aloud, or they can exchange their experiences in small groups.
This activity extends comprehension, provides a purpose for reading, and gives writing practice.
This activity is especially good for students who process information best by manipulating it.
First, have the students read an appropriate article. It might work best to have someone read the story aloud. Then ask the group to discuss the characters, the setting, and the sequence of events described in the article.
Hand out art supplies, magazines, etc. for the students to use to create their own cartoon versions of the story complete with dialog bubbles. Share results with the rest of the class and/or post the cartoon strips.
Ask students to read a front-page story from News for You (those are the top two stories on News for You Online). Don't read the story yourself--it is important that you not know the details. Tell the students that you haven't read it, and that their task is to tell you the most important facts and details in the story.
After they read, you can debrief orally or in writing. You could list the points students tell you on the board and then discuss whether they agree on main points, or you could ask students to write the main points and exchange them with a partner to see whether they agree about which points are most important.
In advance, find nine numerical figures in an issue of News for You, and prepare clues that would help students figure out which story each figure comes from.
In class, after the students have read that issue of News for You, write the nine figures on the board. Distribute a blank, nine-square grid to each student and have then write the nine figures on their grid, in any order.
Give the students the clues, and have them cross out the correct numerical answer on the grid. Whoever gets three in a row first is the winner.
Check the answers for accuracy, then hand out copies of News for You and find the stories associated with the numbers.
First, model and explain that "who," "what," "where," "when," "why," and "how" questions can be literal (facts from the article) or inferential (no "right" answer in the article). For inferential questions, students must either give an opinion or gather evidence from the story to make a judgment.
Tape two large pieces of paper on a wall. Label one "Literal" and the other "Inferential."
Ask each student to read one article and then write at least 3 questions about it, each on a sticky note. One of the questions should be inferential.
Students exchange sticky notes with a partner. The partners answer their questions. Then the partners decide which of their questions are literal and which are inferential. They stick the notes into the appropriate sections of the papers on the wall.
Discuss with students whether the questions are in the right groups. Sticky notes can be moved if necessary. Finally, have the class group the questions into other categories (such as settings, themes, etc.)
After reading and discussing an article, play Stump the Teacher. Students need to write at least two questions about the article. The students should know the answers to their questions. Writing questions is often difficult, especially for ESL students. The teacher must answer the questions from memory without referring to the article. Students love to stump their teachers.
Have students write an opinion about, not a condensation of, an article topic for homework. Then look at their work, circle places where it needs to be revised, and let the students try to make the corrections. If necessary, tell the students what is expected. Later, the students read the corrected pieces aloud. This helps students become increasingly secure in oral work. It also often leads to discussions.
Cut an article from News for You in half, then make enough copies of each piece so every learner will have one half. Separate the class into two groups, and give each group a different half of the story. Ask each group to read their portion of the article and write down details that are missing.
Put the learners into small groups with others who have the same half. Ask them to talk about the article, to try to fill in any missing information, and to compile a list of questions they want answered about the article.
Pair up students who have different halves of the article. Have them talk about the article so they discover the whole story, but without looking back at their original half of the article.
Finally, have the learners go back to their original groups. Have the groups write a summary of the entire article without looking back at it.
Before class, choose an article from News for You and cut it out. Then cut out each paragraph separately. Glue or tape each paragraph to an index card, then shuffle the cards.
In class, have students work together to assemble the cards so the article is in the correct order. This activity can help learners practice identifying linking words and pronouns, and improve sequential skills.